Manila, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday said that a proclamation voiding the amnesty granted to Sen. Antonio Trillanes shows that the Duterte administration would do everything to silence its critics.
President Rodrigo Duterte issued Procalamation 572 on August 31, declaring the amnesty granted to the senator in 2011 void for allegedly failing to meet the conditions for it. The proclamation was published in the August 4 issue of the Manila Times.
“In addition, the administration uses it to divert the attention of the public from addressing the problems of our country: the continuing rise in prices of commodities, the shortage of rice supply in different part of the country, economic slowdown, the allegations of corruption and even the worsening traffic situation,” Robredo said in Filipino.
The vice president added that the attack against Trillanes also tramples the democratic process that strengthens the country.
Robredo called on the Duterte administration to acknowledge the amnesty granted to Trillanes by President Benigno Aquino III in 2010.
“We urge the administration to recognize the amnesty given to Senator Trillanes, to immediately stop wasting the money and time of the people from unreasonable allegations, and instead focus on the needs of the Filipino people,” Robredo said.
The issuance of the proclamation that effectively revoked Trillanes’ amnesty grant comes as the senator leads a Senate investigation into the alleged conflict of interest in Solicitor General Jose Calida’s ownership of a security agency that has government contracts.
Malacañang, on the other hand, denied Trillanes’s assertion that the nullification of his amnesty grant was a case of political persecution.
“He was the one who did the Oakwood mutiny, the Manila Peninsula siege. There is nothing political. These are all his acts,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing, referring to the mutinies against the Arroyo administration covered by the amnesty proclamation.